Shooting Roos to Save Rangelands? by Nichole Hoskin

There are claims that the presence of too many sheep, cattle and kangaroos are damaging Australia’s rangelands and that commercial shooting of kangaroos will reduce overall grazing pressure.

In an article published today at On Line Opinion entitled ‘Kangaroo: Designed for our Times’ by Executive Officer of the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia, John Kelly, he writes that commercial harvesting of roos delivers, “a direct environmental benefits in our fragile arid rangelands where kangaroos are harvested” and that “these are extremely fragile areas which can support a limited number of grazing animals” and that “allowing the grazing pressure from all animals to increase is one of the most serious environmental hazards in these rangelands.”

Population numbers of red and grey kangaroos can fluctuate from 15 to 50 million. Under current government policy, 10-15 percent of this population is shot in any one year. So, commercial harvesting can potentially reduce grazing pressure particularly by limiting increases in wet years.

On the other hand, commercial shooting of kangaroos will not relieve grazing pressure if there is a corresponding increase in numbers of other grazing herbivores, such as sheep, cattle and ferals including horses, donkeys, camels, rabbits, buffalo and deer.

Gordon Grigg, an Australian expert on kangaroos, argues that, “Most of the grazing lands, unfortunately, show everywhere abundant signs of the foot and tooth pressure of the introduced hardfooted stock and there is simply no room for doubt that running sheep in the fragile arid inland has done a lot of damage. Graziers will argue that they obey the stocking rates recommended and many of them do, perhaps even most of them do. Maybe even all of them do, but the fact of the matter remains that the damage is everywhere evident.”

It remains unclear what proportion of grazing pressure directly results from kangaroos.

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50 Responses to Shooting Roos to Save Rangelands? by Nichole Hoskin

  1. Louis Hissink June 13, 2008 at 7:31 pm #

    Reminds me of Jack Absolom’s experiences as a roo-shooter, spent a month clearing a paddock of roos and never made a dent in the population numbers of roos.

    If roo meat was a viable economic possibility then farming them might be an option but I suspect herding roos in a paddock would encounter the same difficulties as herding cats – not done lightly, if at all.

  2. Marcus June 13, 2008 at 8:26 pm #

    “herding roos has same difficulties as herding cats ”
    I don’t know about that Louis, We have been raising deer for some time now, and I think they are more of a problem to keep in, than roos!

  3. spangled drongo June 13, 2008 at 9:00 pm #

    Marcus, I always found goannas the worst to herd but probably cats climb trees too.
    You need a good dog.
    Do you think roos compete with deer, table-wise?

  4. Ann Novek June 13, 2008 at 9:22 pm #

    ” …then farming them might be an option…” – Louis

    Louis miss the whole point why it’s more favourable to eat meat from wild animals than from farmed ones….

    Bla , bla …we been through this , but it’s more animal friendly to eat meat from wild animals than from farmed ones

    Secondly, in these days of food shortage and lack of ararble land , one must remeber that the roos ( and even the whales etc) don’t use arable land.

    30 % of all arable land goes to grazing cattle …

    Finally , we must also remember the fact of wild animals digestive tracts. They can manage on poor grazing conditions etc. And the nutritional value of meat from wild animals is much higher than from farmed animals….bla, bla , bla

  5. cohenite June 13, 2008 at 9:34 pm #

    In keeping with the theme of some recent threads, I feel nature should be left to take care of its own;

    http://www.datsunracing.com/other/humor/snaaake.jpg

  6. Ann Novek June 13, 2008 at 9:48 pm #

    ” It remains unclear what proportion of grazing pressure directly results from kangaroos.” – Nichole

    A very good comment.

    There has well been a survey in Sweden on the impact of reindeers on the environment. Some people have been concerned that large reindeer herds might damage the vegetation etc. However , surveys showed that the reindeers had almost zero impact on vegetation….this in comparison to cattle , horses etc.

    Of course world population can’t survive on eating only meat from wildlife, this should be something luxuary , something for retailers and eco friendly people to think about.

    About 52 billion farm animal are slaughtered / year… I must point out that my main concern is animal welfare , and from that point of view I would prefer meat from a wild animal…

  7. Ann Novek June 13, 2008 at 9:58 pm #

    There is a pressure from an ever increasing middle calss to consume beef, pork , chicken in developing countries….especially in China and India. With this increasing population growth , there will be a very big demand for factory farmed animals , I just feel very sorry for animals that never will see the daylight or are transported in cruel ways…

    I feel as well , that the idyll , with grazing cattle in paddocks etc , that are farm slaughtered etc… these days are over for a long time ago…

  8. Ann Novek June 13, 2008 at 10:08 pm #

    There has as well been conducted research on farm animals re ulcus and stomach ache. Most factory farmed cows or cows eating pellets etc suffered from stomach ache and a majority of pigs had ulcus.

  9. Ann Novek June 13, 2008 at 10:20 pm #

    This is from my blog re the problem with meat eating 🙂

    ” Entomophagy. Creepy- Crawly Cuisine.
    11 juni, 2008
    Entomophagy , the scientific term for consuming insects, the new future?

    In Asian countries it’s quite common to eat protein-rich insects — contrary to the West. This week’s the TIMES , features an article called ” Eating Bugs . Creepy -Crawly Cuisine . They are packed with protein and environmentally friendlier than other meat. But can greenies kick the ick factor?”

    Cheap environmentally low impact insects could be the food for the future — provided people can stomach them.

    Insects require little room and few resources to grow. For instance, it takes far less water to raise a pound ( 150g) grasshoppers than the staggering 3,290 l needed to produce the same amount of beef.

    There were also some insect dishes featured in the TIMES . Waxworm spring salad looked like a winner !

    Other options were crickets, giant water bugs and german cockroaches.

    BON APETITE ”

  10. Louis Hissink June 13, 2008 at 11:22 pm #

    Herding wild animals seems a different problem to herding tame animals.

    Have I got this principle right?

  11. Russ June 13, 2008 at 11:29 pm #

    Ann,

    I seriously doubt that the British-empire influenced world is going to start eating insects anytime soon. It has never been part of the cultural DNA. The question that I have is whether or not the “roo-meat” is marketable as a alternative to beef, lamb, or pork.

  12. Libby June 14, 2008 at 8:50 am #

    Hi Ann,

    The “creepy crawlies” are farmed too, and in poor conditions. Do vertebrates deserve to be treated better than those without backbones?

  13. spangled drongo June 14, 2008 at 10:33 am #

    Louis,
    I toyed with idea of mustering galahs and cockatoos for the table with falconry.
    These birds have a natural herd instinct, like lemmings, so it is not impossible.
    With cohenite’s and other’s choice of menu who knows what might become marketable? Even insects.
    I’ve got a mob of mountain katydids in the top paddock to keep the madagascar fire weed down.
    Man, are they hard to muster!

  14. spangled drongo June 14, 2008 at 11:28 am #

    Russ, I have been eating supermarket-bought roo meat for years. Best meat there is [including venison possibly, Marcus] and it makes sense in every way.

  15. Nichole Hoskin June 14, 2008 at 11:32 am #

    Louis potentially has a point that it may be preferable for rangeland management in Australia if farmers made income from kangaroos, rather than sheep and cattle. Although, farmers would have to adapt their practices because it appears to be practically impossible to farm kangaroos since they jump over or destroy fences that get in their way. Research suggests that 65% of Australian’s don’t realise that kangaroos are not farmed. This is discussed in the section ‘Kangaroos as a Resource’ at
    http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/wiki/Commercial_Harvest

    Ann also raises an important point on whether it is better to farm animals or to harvest wildlife. The RSPCA argue that it is better for animals to be shot in their natural environment than to undergo the stress of herding, transportation etc that traditional farming involves for cattle and sheep.

  16. Ian Mott June 14, 2008 at 12:27 pm #

    There is a lot of extremely naive talk about farming wild animals. They forget that a major part of the business of farming is the monitoring, tending and treatment of diseases and parasites in any herd. And for this to be done effectively, and in compliance with developing notions of duty of care, this must involve rounding them, yarding them and delivering the required treatment or action.

    A major part of the breeding success of domesticated animals has been a steady inmprovement in their docility and willingness to co-operate. This has included a willingness to be handled.

    And Kangaroos have none of these qualities. They are essentially at breeding year zero where a major portion of their gross value is chewed up by exhorbitant handling costs.

    Furthermore, the cost, effort and likely trauma involved in even loading Kangaroos onto a truck for transport to another farm, let alone delivery to a saleyard, yarding whilst bidding takes place etc, and subsequent transport to another farm or meatworks, is way beyond prohibitive.

    Consequently, Kangaroos are also a very dubious asset of exchange. They cannot be traded as readily as domesticated animals so their “transaction cost” chews up another major portion of their commercial value.

  17. Ian Mott June 14, 2008 at 12:51 pm #

    The question of which animals are doing most damage to the rangeland ecosystem is not hard to resolve. One need only assess the actions of the respective custodians.

    The farmer is the unambiguous custodian, legally responsible for the well being of his sheep or cattle. Farmers routinely reduce their herds in dry times as additional stock going to markets consistently depress prices in both the yards and the supermarkets. As droughts persist they often risk substantial debt exposure to buy in feed to maintain the core breeding herd. And when the money runs out and there is no more feed and no more fodder, it is they who must perform the soul destroying task of shooting their starving, emaciated animals to end their suffering.

    But under recent legislation the farmer is now neither custodian of or legally responsible for the well being of the kangaroo herd on his property. He cannot reduce this herd as fodder stock decline. He cannot sell additional animals as he does with his domesticated herd. He can only shoot Kangaroos if he has a permit and the permits are not flexible enough to match the variation in conditions found on individual farms.

    The lawfully responsible custodian of the Kangaroo herd make no effort whatsoever to reduce herd numbers in drought. They make no effort at all to provide supplementary feed for them and make no effort to move them to better feed supplies. And they make no effort at all to spare them a skerrick of suffering as their condition deteriorates.

    So it is absolutely clear that the green movement’s kangaroo herd is left to scavenge for the very last piece of edible vegetation, long after the domesticated herds have gone or are surviving on drought rations.

    This is particularly the case when the domestic herd is cattle because cattle normally wrap their tongue around long grass and pull. They are much less adept at nibbling short stems, a problem not faced by Kangaroos.

    So any suggestion that it is domestic animals causing the degradation of the rangelands is pure bunkum.

  18. Ann Novek June 14, 2008 at 2:50 pm #

    ” Do vertebrates deserve to be treated better than those without backbones?” – Libby

    Some days ago a Norwegian animal rights group made a statement to the media. They said their concern was about conditions for farm animals ( note , not the whales). They explicity said that they were not interested in insects or the issue if it’s allowed to bait earth worms for fishing.

    Personally , I really don’t like to use earth worms for fishing FYI.

    I do know that they breed worms ( meal worms ) for animal centers and zoo’s and they live as well in cramped conditions. I do know as well that insects feel pain. ( All sadists know this when they abuse flies etc).

    Well , what the article want to point out might be that arable land is in lack very soon for cattle and to feed the world population with protein insects might be an enviro friendly alternative.

  19. yorkie June 14, 2008 at 2:56 pm #

    On the question of herding wild animals I was present once when an old-timer told the story of how he had once mustered a large herd of goannas in southern Qld and droved them all the way to Hobart where they were processed into goanna oil. When asked how he got them across Bass Straight he replied “We didn’t go that way.”

  20. Marcus June 14, 2008 at 5:23 pm #

    spangled drongo
    “I have been eating supermarket-bought roo meat for years. Best meat there is [including venison possibly, Marcus]”

    If you don’t tell anyone, I let you in on a secret, some cuts, (some mind!) of roo and venison are almost interchangeable!!!

    Strange as it may sound, without lacing some venison or roo cuts with good bacon, is not acceptable to me, just too dry, and needs a lot of sauce, that smothers the flavor of the meat.
    But then again I am a culinary peasant!
    At least so I’m told.

  21. spangled drongo June 14, 2008 at 8:16 pm #

    Ian,
    What happens with roos that have hydatids? Are they still marketed with the parasites in them to be killed in the cooking?
    And do you not think that, say, mitchell grass country is more affected by cattle [with the grazing method you describe] than by sheep or roos?

  22. Ian Mott June 14, 2008 at 10:26 pm #

    I have no idea what is done with hydatid infected Roos, Spangled one. But with a simple shoot and process operation there must be a greater number of discarded animals than would be the case with conventional husbandry.

    For the Mitchell Grass country I would defer to anyone who has managed that sort of country.

  23. Luke June 15, 2008 at 7:59 am #

    “So any suggestion that it is domestic animals causing the degradation of the rangelands is pure bunkum.”

    Do you seriously believe your statement. You actually stand by that?

  24. Travis June 15, 2008 at 8:40 am #

    Why are you bothering Luke? He’ll give you some unsubstantiated waffle, laced with nastiness and anti-green sentiment. It’s simple answers like Ian’s that makes this one of the very best weblogs on earth. Pffttt.

  25. Ian Mott June 15, 2008 at 12:31 pm #

    Of course I stand by that statement, the evidence is very clear. Your Kangaroos, in numbers all agree are well in excess of the natural stocking rate, are feeding on degraded pasture stocks long after the sheep and cattle have been de-stocked. And they are still feeding long after the sheep and cattle are relying solely on feed supplements.

    The only animals that a landowner is legally able to reduce the population of, or prevent inflicting further damage to rangeland vegetation, are generally reduced or prevented.

    Any contrary argument that would seek to suggest that the landowner has some perverted duty of care to ensure sufficient fodder reserves remain for all Kangaroos that are currently on the site, or might come onto the site as conditions deteriorate elsewhere, can only apply to the natural stocking rate. It cannot either lawfully or morally be applied to the expanded, post settlement kangaroo population that the greens and the boofocrats insist on “protecting” but conspicuously refuse to feed or relocate.

    Your failure to recognise this situation, and your collective failure to accept responsibility for the consequences of your ill-considered intervention through law, is further evidence of your negligence.

    You and your pack of hideously sanctimonious mates can’t even advise a landowner what the original Kangaroo stocking rate was, let alone ensure that numbers are managed in a way that is consistent with seasonal variation in those numbers. You are both morally and intellectually bankrupt.

  26. spangled drongo June 15, 2008 at 4:36 pm #

    Until many areas of outback Aust had permanent water ie bores, dams, tanks, wells, shotovers etc, kangaroos barely existed there. Along with the dingo they arrived in vast numbers with white settlement.

  27. spangled drongo June 15, 2008 at 4:45 pm #

    Can you possibly conceive a panorama of 100 kilometers of beautiful, open, rich, downs savannah country with narry a drop of water available.
    Very common.

  28. Luke June 15, 2008 at 6:41 pm #

    Your shonkiness knows no bounds.

    {and no I’m not saying that kangaroos are not a major problem at times either, but don’t try and fit us out with responsibility for the roo issue, there is very well documented damage by domestic stock across the entire continent – and you damn well know it}

    Given the rank tone of your comments I would have to concur with Travis – any discussion with you is pointless.

  29. Ian Mott June 16, 2008 at 10:24 am #

    The proof of Spangled drongo’s statement is in the well documented journey of Burke & Wills. They did two 1000km transects of central Australia, one north and one south, and didn’t shoot a single kangaroo. They recorded shooting and eating anything from lizards and crows to their own horses but not a single ‘Roo.

    More telling, they starved to death by one of the few waterholes in the region and even then apparently still had no opportunity to shoot any Kangaroos. If there had been any in the area at all, they would certainly have come to that waterhole.

    Note how Luke bails out when his core prejudices are challenged? He has not refuted a single one of the facts that I presented above so the only way he can retain his false conclusion is to leave the field.

    What we do know is that very few of the claimed numerous research papers that examine the impact of grazing on rangeland fodder reserves bother to distinguish between grazing by domestic animals and excess native ones. The grazing by native animals is treated as a given and part of the farmer’s duty of care.

    One gets really impatient with these dumb turds who can read no further into the landscape than the fact that the side of the fence without domestic animals has lots of fodder while the other side with domestic grazing has none.

    The fact that the fodder on the domestic side of the fence is more nutritious because it has had superphosphate treatment means that even the ‘Roos on the other side of the fence will graze on the farmers side first. This produces higher manure deposition and a more abundant supply of “green pick”. The increased frequency and improved distribution of watering points ensures that ‘Roos remain there longer.

    They use the less digestible crap in the national park as a last resort after the farmer’s fodder had been completely degraded.

    And as we have seen on this blog, we then get someone with an agenda taking aerial photos that involve such high levels of oversimplification as to constitute misrepresentation.

  30. Luke June 16, 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    If you deny that domestic stock have not had a major impact on Australian grazing lands well what’s left to discuss. So continue being a pig-ignorant boofhead by all means. It’s great stuff for the archive. New definition for the term denialist. See tosser.

  31. Ian Mott June 16, 2008 at 5:31 pm #

    Nice try at reinterpreting what I said, Luke, but I did not deny that domestic stock have a major impact. What I AM saying is that it is the public’s Kangaroo herd that is left to inflict the serious degradation long after the domestic stock are on drought rations.

    So do tell us which of the relevant facts do you contest?

    Do you deny that domestic stock go into a major sell-down as drought sets in which is not matched by any similar reduction in Kangaroo numbers?

    Do you deny that as drought continues graziers either sell more stock, move them to other feed sources like stock routes etc, or undertake expensive supplementary feeding, which is also not matched by similar action by the managers of the Kangaroo herd?

    Do you deny that the correction of soil deficiencies on farmed land has improved the nutritional value of farm fodder and that Kangaroos, as with most grazing animals, tend to favour that more nutritious feed?

    Do you deny that the increase in the number of watering points and their improved distribution has produced a much, much larger macropod population than the pre-settlement footprint?

    Do you deny that Kangaroos are more able to nibble on short (degraded) fodder than cattle due to the structure of their mouths and that ‘Roos can crop down pasture to lower levels than cattle?

    And do you deny that even when conditions are so bad that graziers must shoot their remaining animals to end their suffering, they are still prohibited from shooting Kangaroos that are also suffering just as badly?

    And the clown has the gall to accuse me of denialism. Either refute these statements with evidence or provide additional evidence to support your prejudices.

  32. Luke June 16, 2008 at 8:37 pm #

    To your specific “Do you deny …” series.

    I count 6 of them.

    (1) Agree
    (2) Agree
    (4) Agree
    (5) Probably – yes
    (6) I don’t specifically know the fine points of “humane disposal action” – but yes agree in general.

    On (4) – I would have said supplementation – urea/molasses lick and rumen slugs that provide micro-nutrient deficiencies are available. Whether rangelands have been corrected for soil deficiencies – probably not unless you want to count Buffel grass and naturalised stylos. As yes all grazing animals, including roos, prefer to browse the most nutritious feed.

    So in general no contest.

    However I specifically asked you to reconsider your comment “So any suggestion that it is domestic animals causing the degradation of the rangelands is pure bunkum.”

    And you gave me an upping so I assumed you stood by your comments.

    Which flies in the face of a vast amount of detailed research.

    Kangaroos are not involved in all degradation events.

    And overgrazing by graziers is not always intentional – one can get suckered into drought feeding, markets can close off, property size, selling options not good, bank debt an issue etc.

    But drought feeding is increasing seen to be a bad call. Sell’em or smell’em. If it is a big drought sell early or agist.

    So there a number of well documented episodes where domestic stock have been retained and landscapes have become moonscapes which end in major degradation events if El Nino droughts break in a major deluge.

    Other climate impacts can occur also – the Gascoyne rangeland is severley degraded. It’s simple overgrazing. Burdekin, Central Australia.

    And if you want to factor in macropods – NSW Western Division, SW Queensland.

    Other compounding issues is reluctance to burn – so woody weeds problems. Usually based on experience of being “caught” with no follow-up rain.

    And urea/molasses supplementation can allow high resilient Bos indicus x taurus hybrids to live on sticks. i.e. not having the decency to die in drought like British breeds.

    But some of the grazing industry is very keen on feed budgeting, total grazing pressure management (including roos), and use of seasonal forecasts to see droughts coming. So should be hopeful better days are ahead.

  33. Ian Mott June 17, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    Come on Luke, it is not just urea/molasses supplements at play here. I don’t know what proportion of the rangelands has had a good dose of superphosphate but in the southern half of Eastern Australia it would be the majority. That is a structural change in fodder nutrition which, combined with watering points has produced at least a ten fold, if not 20 fold increase in ‘Roo population.

    And to pretend that this population can be left out of the fodder management equation, as you and most of the public sector land management interests have, is downright culpable.

    It is culpable management because it maintains a situation where any attempt at fodder maintenance by the grazier, in the form of de-stocking or supplementary feeding, is essentially negated by the completely unmanaged ‘Roo herd.

    And there is no longer any excuse for knowingly attaching all blame to the grazier for the subsequent state of the landscape. It is downright venal.

  34. Luke June 17, 2008 at 11:19 am #

    Come on yourself – superphosphate being spread in the Western Division rangelands? In the moister temperature grazing zone yes – but this area is now rangelands?

    The non-grey areas (white and coloured) here are consider rangelands by most people
    http://www.environment.gov.au/land/management/rangelands/acris/reporting.html

    Urea/molasses and yaks have definitely taken a toll on the landscape – you can push the system into the dust – superb animal genetics and top notch animal husbandry techniques – no roos !! Take a drive around the Burdekin with a camera.

    Don’t blame me for roo management mate – you’d fit me up 9/11 if you had the chance – what a slime ball.

    So you attempt to divert ALL the blame onto kangaroos is unmitigated bullshit. Not even industry will support you if you take that ridiculous position. Roos are a factor in a sea of issues. A really major issue in SW Qld no doubt.

    Golly – how long has the term “total grazing pressure” been about – have you been asleep – did you think you worked it out alone?? Even the Feds bang on about it http://www.environment.gov.au/soe/2006/publications/drs/indicator/162/index.html

    However instead of persecuting people (which is your stock tool in trade as Mr Biffo – oh I’m Such a Hard Man) many rangeland ecologists, natural resource scientists and production scientists have worked long and hard for decades on improving the situation – your attack on them here is pretty sleazy – especially given you are lounging around on some boutique high rainfall Byron Bay postage stamp as a hobby. Who says you’re even talking for industry. Did they elect you?

    And you might ponder whose fault unregulated watering points and bore drains are? Yes they were all installed by urban greenies – LOL !! Major campaigns now to both control these system and control access to water for domestic stock only. Subsidised by urban swill.

    What proportion of the total Australian rangelands are affected regularly by kangaroo plagues – where’s your data? Put up !

  35. Ian Mott June 18, 2008 at 2:07 pm #

    No Luke, it doesn’t require a plague to degrade the landscape. All it takes is a government to sell or lease land to private individuals at a price determined by the number of domestic animals the land can carry. And it then decides that it owns all the Kangaroos that first lived there (8%) and all the additional ‘Roos (92%) that survive there after the landowner has invested his money to improve the stocking rate.

    It then imposes an annual harvest limit (10-15%)that is well below the level needed to maintain numbers in a normal year. In effect, it has adopted a policy that will allow it’s Kangaroo herd to exploit as much of the farmer’s fodder reserves as they are biologically capable of exploiting regardless of the season or climate cycle.

    And after this policy of maximum possible exploitation is in place they then fund numerous compromised research papers that appear to indicate that it is the farmers, not the government, that is degrading the landscape by not reducing their domestic stock numbers, earlier enough or far enough.

    There would not be a landscape scientist on the planet that would regard a 15% de-stocking rate at the start of a drought as anywhere near adequate. But by refusing to de-stock the Kangaroo herd at all they more than double the amount of de-stocking that the grazier would need to do to achieve a sustainable outcome.

    And to cap it all off, they make the maintenance of ecological values a ‘condition precedent’ in the renewal of grazing leases, thereby providing the pretext for the eventual disposession of the grazier without compensation.

    Now I can understand, Luke, how you and your mates would like to believe that you are all good, honest, well meaning folk. But the blunt truth of the matter is that you are all part of, or accessories to, a sleazy criminal conspiracy to defraud and disposess. To ignore the actions of the scum you work for is to condone those actions.

  36. Luke June 18, 2008 at 8:13 pm #

    What a litany of crap. Enough straw men to fed a mob of wethers till Xmas.

    “All it takes is a government to sell or lease land to private individuals at a price determined by the number of domestic animals the land can carry” – but all it takes is for you to write utter crap too. Who says this is happening? Where ? By whom? Perhaps you’re confused with South Africa bro. Afrikaans bro. You don’t get drought aid there if you don’t run the recommended stocking rates.

    Obviously you don’t understand the word “lease” – do you lease a house and trash it? do you lease a car and send it back trashed? No – not if you want to lease again – and so it’s utterly surprising that the State may not want its leased land trashed either. “condition precedent” – well sorry every new lease is a new lease. And there are too many flogged out leases so some minimal standards are expected.

    If you don’t like the terms – well don’t take the lease.

    But having said that who’s ever been prosecuted for overgrazing?

    And what does the big bad State want in return for leasing rights – some basic land monitoring which professional managers do anyway and regard for not letting land get into C and D class condition. Management for improved cover. Improved cover involves management of total grazing pressure. Kidmans and Heytesbury do this routinely.

    And where exactly are these “numerous” compromised research papers – if they are not tabled here in 24 hours we’ll assume you’re full of crap.

    Reality is that roo paws do heaps less compaction damage than stock hooves.

    In any case in drought – the grazier can choose to remove the stock and turn off the water. Unless of course you’re no interested in controlling the water supply – in which case you’re brewing your own roo problem. Very soon image recognition systems will be able to tell cattle, sheep, goats and roos and deny access to watering points except to domestic stock.

    Do we hear anything about the economics of roo shooting and how really quotas are not met. It’s not economic. And blazing away at the larger animals has selected a smaller class of roo. Nevertheless have a drive between Mitchell and Hebel – plenty of roos blown away by happy shooters during the drought. So much for “inability to control”. More like inability get enough bullets.

    The QPWS recognises that commercial harvesting may not always satisfy a landholder’s need to control damage by kangaroos. Under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, landholders may be issued with damage mitigation permits to deal with specific problems requiring culling of kangaroos in particularly high numbers.

    Some states have special quotas for pasture damage management.
    http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/trade-use/publications/kangaroo/pubs/2007-commercial-harvest-quotas.pdf

    So again we have an pretentious put-on sleazy attack – really pathetic. Just another piss weak excuse to have a go. Next time get briefed first.

  37. Ian Mott June 19, 2008 at 9:40 am #

    Gosh, another off-point rant from Luke. Now the clown is denying history, implying that because no new land is being released then there was not any in the past. Pathetic.

    And the nature of a lease is that both parties enter into an agreement that remains in place for the term of the agreement. But the government has chosen to drastically alter the conditions of the agreement by giving their own Kangaroo herd open slather to consume as much fodder as possible and reproduce as fast as possible regardless of the climatic conditions.

    And right on cue, Luke defends the whole charade of “not trashing the land” when it is the government’s own animals that are the only ones exhibiting unrestrained grazing.

    Farmers at least have the basic self interest in ensuring that their animals do not get in such bad condition as to substantially reduce their value. And this self interest ensures that they either supplement the feed or remove their animals long before serious degradation takes place.

    The state, on the other hand, makes all the noises about protecting their wildlife and protecting the vegetation cover but at all the times when it really counts, they’re nowhere to be seen. They even have their special cop-out permit that “may be issued” but involves so much bull$hit that very few bother. What a sleazy pack of contemptible low life you are, Luke.

  38. Luke June 19, 2008 at 1:33 pm #

    Nope all wrong and misinformed mate. Any changes apply at lease renewal and are about managing land condition not herbivore numbers.

    Your straw men have been incinerated in front of your eyes. Very few bother to take up permits coz nobody can be bothered – it’s broadly uneconomic to control. Takes time, no money in it. But doesn’t prevent people blazing away on the roadsides for fun or off the front verandah when the drought gets bad.

    Your failure to fess up with the “bad” research papers shows what a bully you are. Information provided sans buttocks. And so here he is doing the nana when exposed. A prententious put-on main course with mock indignation for dessert.

    You have disgracefully trashed not only the researchers but also cooperating graziers, great people with positive spirit, that have worked long and hard on sustainable land management. Shame on you.

    Meanwhile as luck would have it, the 18 June 2008 series of inventors shows the new image recognition technology which hopefully will allow you to soon have the roos die of thirst. Wonder if they have a Mottsa image profile. LOL.

    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/video/program.htm?program=newinventors

    Note I have not said that kangaroos are not a problem. I have agreed control is necessary But to try to say that’s all that is going on, that domestic stock all have halos, all farm management is perfect, and that grazing management research is shonky is a disgrace.

  39. Ian Mott June 19, 2008 at 2:29 pm #

    Breathtaking ignorance. Luke said “Any changes apply at lease renewal and are about managing land condition not herbivore numbers”. What complete Bull$hit.

    The ban on roo shooting did not take place at the end of leases, rather it was a change mid-lease that fundamentally altered the entire land management equation.

    And what sort of ignorant moron would seriously suggest, as you have just done, that managing herbivore numbers is discrete from managing land condition?

    And then he would have us believe that starving a ‘roo to death over a few weeks is somehow more noble than shooting one from the back step. What a classic bimbopolitan cop-out.

    And no, no, no, don’t ever suggest that the odium and bull$hit involved in obtaining a permit to conduct a totally inadequate ‘roo cull is not the reason why no-one bothers to get one.

    So it is all economics, is it bozo? Ten roos eat as much feed as one cow. So shooting thirty roos allows you to carry three cows worth $600 each or a total of $1800. And on average a third of a herd can be sold each year for an annual income of $600. And with average wages of $200 a day that means you can spend up to three days to kill those thirty ‘roos, or ten each day to make wages, give or take a bullet or two. Many could do that in ten minutes at a single waterhole.

    But if you are only given a permit for barely making a dent on the ‘roo numbers then the economics of ‘roo shooting go right out the window because they will just keep on breeding to exploit any niche left by the cull.

    But thanks, Luke, for so clearly demonstrating the nature of the problem. You people are so incredibly ignorant of actual conditions on the ground, and so full of the certainty of your own ideology wrapped as science, that you simply lack the capacity to retain any of the brief.

    You, and your sleazy mates are a bloody disgrace.

  40. Luke June 19, 2008 at 6:14 pm #

    Oh for heavens sake put your husband on coz you’re now arguing like a girl. I mean really. Do you know what a pasture plant looks like in good condition. Do you know how much a roo actually eats. How would you calculate that. If you did you would have 5 roos per DSE (and getting towards 7 as a result of your violent selection pressure) and then 8 DSEs to scale to beef cattle. So I don’t know where you got your numbers from. You’re a mile out gonzo.

    What ban?

    If you had gone to school instead of working for Dad you would have realised that managing for land condition isn’t prescriptive – you want to cell graze and not go low stocking rates long term – well fine. But just manage the resource eh? Bit too subtle for ya?

    I’ve never eaten any of your mutton (wouldn’t be lamb) and how many sheep do you keep on your boutique house block down at Byron anyway. You’ve never dug a posthole and never pulled a trigger – you’re an ageing past it desktop retiree – you’ve just lined your pockets with subsidies from raking off the urban population being a smart aleck – so you wouldn’t want to $200 for staff anyway. Don’t try our belief. All the smart people have gone to the mines anyway – at least they get a day off. So reality is you’ll be asking the ringers to work 24 x 7.

    We know what you’re on about mate – Sipping tea china cups on flyscreened verandahs while poorly paid underage kids work hard in the yards choking on dust or unburying the fences covered in sand from your management. So where are you going to get all these staff to roam the rangelands and do all this shooting. Millions of roos over millions of sq kms.

    Don’t give me any of that backbone of the nation crap and we’re feeding the world – “ I’ll spell this property one day and give it a rest – on the other hand I might not” – you’ll buy another property from flogging and both will have to be flogged some more to pay the interest. Times are changing – there are fewer and fewer like yourself. The ideals you have misrepresented are misnomers – as most real Australians realise – you are living in la la land.

    Tell me how the degradation in the Bowen Basin, Gulf, Cape York, the Burdekin, and the VRD is caused by roos. The tourists used to want to see the outback but these days they can sit on the coast and watch it flow out onto the reef.

    Anyway we’ve been over all this long before. Ever heard of the 1902 Royal Commission into NSW tenants. Those interviewed related that they had to many animals on average country – Lake Mungo’s sand dunes have got your recommended management fingerprints all over it.

    You can buy in and buy out these days – you don’t have to lower yourself to get the $2 per sheep to shoot them – you may have heard of things called trucks which strangely can move animals in peace and time. Genetics is a misnomer – 90% is what goes down their throat. If you had any grass left to feed after your style of management you’d be able to know that. The old “flogged country gives fine wool” doesn’t work anymore with buyers – they’re sick of the breaks in the fleece. And really that’s what you’re on about.

    Looking for an apology for your greed and neglect. Blame it on the roos and the government.

    If graziers could act as collegiate body instead a mob of individuals they could put forward a cohesive industry for harvesting a natural resource instead of introducing goats – the latest après land degradation craze – and flogging out the country more.

    But you won’t be part of that as you’ll be too busy having a big sook.

    My mates might be sleazy by your corrupt kangaroo court assessments but I least I have some. Grandad was a shearer and so we’re quite used to dealing with landed gentry like you. We might see you in Corones sometime – but not if we see you first.

  41. Travis June 19, 2008 at 8:02 pm #

    Why oh why are you bothering Luke?

    Motts initial claim was:-
    >So any suggestion that it is domestic animals causing the degradation of the rangelands is pure bunkum.

    As usual he has failed to provide any research to back this up. Lots of anecdotes and old yarns that we are expected to believe are true from the master. Don’t dare question him Luke. He knows better than any scum, low life, blah, blah, yawn.

    As an example, I’d like to know where this comes from:-
    >Ten roos eat as much feed as one cow.

    Really?? If you can provide me with proof Mott, I’ll believe you.

    >And right on cue, Luke defends the whole charade of “not trashing the land” when it is the government’s own animals that are the only ones exhibiting unrestrained grazing.

    The ONLY ones exhibiting unrestrained grazing? Taking the story elsewhere and we see pigs, goats, donkeys, horses…even the farmer’s faithful dogs chowing down on quolls in the south-west. Yeah, the farmers are so considerate of what damage their stock and other animals do. They really have looked after the land. No degradation attributable to them and their ‘herds’. It’s all those over-populating, big-footed, greenie-hugged ‘roo’s fault. Pfft. Back up or shut up Grott.

    And Luke:-
    >Oh for heavens sake put your husband on coz you’re now arguing like a girl.

    That is really lowering your standards to the likes of Mott. Sexism is not necessary nor appreciated when insulting the likes of Mott. For a start, a girl would have more sense than to participate here.

  42. Ian Mott June 20, 2008 at 11:24 am #

    All that bile and spittle with copious doses of his “poor white trash” and “landed gentry” stereotypes but nothing to do with reality.

    I can show you the trees I planted as a 4 year old in 1959, the paddock of regrowth I helped clear with an axe and brush hook as a 13 year old in 1968, the Banana plantation I humped 50kg bunches out of every weekend through to 1974, the fence posts I cut and planted from 1965 to 2005, the logs I snigged and milled, the bridges I repaired, the roads I maintained and all the Lantana I fought, and won.

    And through all that he finally introduced the concept of Dry Sheep Equivalents (DSE) but then seriously claimed that between 5 and 7 ‘roos eat as much as 1 dry ewe. Padaemellons, maybe?

    And then he claims, via 8 DSE to a cow, that between 40 and 56 ‘roos eat the same as one cow. I just can’t wait to take a close look at that source data. Do you have a reference?

    But thanks for raising the DSE issue, Luke. I will respond in detail but with a proper lead post so we can rub your nose in it properly.

  43. Ian Mott June 20, 2008 at 12:28 pm #

    For the record
    514 kangaroos killed in cull
    BY EWA KRETOWICZ

    3/06/2008 12:00:00 AM
    Canberra’s controversial kangaroo cull is over, more than a year after the Defence Department first announced plans to kill more than 400 of the animals on one of its sites.

    Over 10 days, 514 eastern grey kangaroos were shot with tranquilliser darts and then killed by an injection of sodium pentobarbitone, administered by a vet.

    The holding pens where the kangaroos were tranquillised and euthanased are empty and protesters have left the site.

    A Defence spokesman said the cull at the Belconnen Naval Transmission site had proceeded according to plan.

    ”The cull was undertaken in the most humane manner possible under the guidance of animal management experts, including the RSPCA, and was compliant with the Code of Practice for the Humane Destruction of Kangaroos in the ACT,” he said.

    The RSPCA’s chief executive officer in the ACT, Michael Linke, said his staff were on site to report on the animals’ condition while they were herded and tranquillised.

    ”The inspector’s report was very good. It was completed as humanely as possible,” Mr Linke said.

    Mr Linke said private land owners in the ACT culled about 4000 kangaroos each year.

    ”It was doubly important that Defence acted because of the endangered animals on the site,” he said.

    The kangaroo cull made international headlines when former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney condemning the program of killings as slaughter.”

    Note. These kangaroos had demonstrated a capacity to achieve population levels that were more than five times the carrying capacity of the land. None of the media reports bothered to mention the area involved. It took more than two pages of google references to discover that these 514 animals were enclosed on 118 hectares for a density of 4.36 animals/ha.

    This density was achieved after a 2006/7 rainfall total of 380mm and a 2007/8 total of 520mm.

    The portion of Qld with rainfall in excess of 400mm can be seen at http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/cgi_bin_scripts/annual-monthly-rainfall.cgi

    But given that the land was fenced well enough to contain ‘roos, it would have been easier and cheaper to simply introduce a few Dingos or a Lion or two.

    Alternatively, it seems a professional roo shooter put the cost of shooting at $2-$3 per animal. Kangaroo culling

    2CC (Canberra), The Drive Show, 03/04/2008 04.14pm

    Compere Mike Welsh interviews Steve Glover, professional kangaroo shooter, about the kangaroo cull in Canberra and the way to go ahead with it. Glover talks about previous culls he has been involved in. Glover says the fact the kangaroos are enclosed is a miracle, it would make his job, should he be involved, very easy. Glover talks about whether this is right that the kangaroos are enclosed and says it would cost two to three dollars per animal to shoot. Glover discusses the distress and cost of translocation. Glover says two shooters could kill the Kangaroos in one night.
    Interviewee: Steve Glover, professional kangaroo shooter.

  44. Luke June 20, 2008 at 1:14 pm #

    Still waiting for the corrupt grazing papers …………………………………

  45. Travis June 20, 2008 at 2:19 pm #

    >it would have been easier and cheaper to simply introduce a few Dingos or a Lion or two.

    LOL! Yeah, what about a few farmer’s dogs instead, or better still some yobs in 4WDs? http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,23876331-5006009,00.html

    Or maybe some KFC dumpster pumas? Then when the roos are dead and you want to get rid of the lions, call in some sicko canned hunters.

    So what was the point of your post Mott?

  46. Ian Mott June 20, 2008 at 3:36 pm #

    Thanks for those links, Luke. This is exactly the stuff I was looking for. But if you think this stuff is water tight you are sadly mistaken.

    Yep, Grigg looks like my bunny alright. But I will take my time, this should be fun.

    Just a hint. The claimed maximum density cohort in the national ‘roo maps is only 40+ animals/km2. Funny how the 1.18km2 paddock in Canberra had 514 animals. Thats 436 per km2 in an 82% rainfall year that followed a 60% year in 630mm country that has not had super for decades, if ever.

    Do you think there might be some scope for reconciling “the science” with reality?

  47. Luke June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm #

    Canberra ! Come off the Byron hooch – It’s a fair way up to Hebel from there mate. They were some blokes hand fed pets down there.

    Feds reckon 0.2 to 0.7 roos per DSE. But your total grazing pressure is specialist stuff. At least if you’ve gone off hurt from this scrape you’ll do some reading which won’t hurt you at all. Remember we’re on your side.

    Roos ain’t roos. And people keep shooting the big buggers too so a bit of selection pressure for little fellas.

    Yes roos can be a problem at times. So can people.

    Did like the image recognition automatic drafting technology though. Between that and bore capping – soon you’ll have no excuse. Some bloke also wanted to cut a hole in the dingo fence – roos wanted to get out during the drought – were massing along the fence. So we need a few system there too. One way of course.

    How your list of corrupt grazing research papers going BTW ? LOL

  48. Luke June 21, 2008 at 10:45 am #

    Quotes from two graziers (Qld & WA):

    “If we had discovered England, do you think we’d have shot all the sheep and cattle, cleared all the oak forests, and grazed it with kangaroos?”

    and

    “I am sick and tired of trying to keep alive animals and plants that just want to die in this country, while shooting and clearing animals and plants that are adapted to it and just want to live in this country.”

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